Ka'au Crater

HARD 313 reviews

Ka'au Crater is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2322 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

scramble

no dogs

This hike is challenging and can be slippery and dangerous. If you don't know how to navigate in the outdoors you should consider another trail that is well-marked OR hike the trail in a counter-clockwise route as far as the waterfall and return the way you came. This is an amazing hike with three waterfalls and gorgeous views of Honolulu, Kaneohe, Kailua, Diamond Head, and Ka'au Crater. This hike is not too challenging until the 3rd waterfall which you climb up to get to the ridge portion of the hike. This is where it got extremely muddy and a bit dangerous. The view from the top of the ridge is incredible! Pack more food and water than you think you'd need, it's very steep and tiring.

hiking
2 hours ago

Beautiful! Muddy, slow scrambles most of the way, awesome pay-off at the falls. Get there early, parking seems limited. There's also a market on 10th Ave very close by the trailhead if needed.

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

6 days ago

7 days ago

7 days ago

Tough but awesome hike. Took 5 hours. At the top of the third waterfall took a right and hiked up to the peak. Then came back down to the third waterfall there is another trail to the left that loops around back down to the river bed. I recommend this unless you like down and back trails.

hiking
7 days ago

8 days ago

4 stars bc even though I almost died on this hike (not joking, slipped and fell a couples inches shy of a cliff edge) it wasn't a "bad" hike. Took us 7 hours as a large group - sketch parts are climbing the waterfalls, the lack of ropes in certain places, slippery boulders (go on a dry day), and the sheer drop on either side when you're on the backside of the crater, where the path is only a few feet wide. I blocked a lot of the hike out of my memory from the trauma tbh but it was still a solid hike. Just don't get complacent on it and you should be fine.

hiking
11 days ago

Be ready to put in work. This is an all day hike for the in experienced so plan accordingly, be sure you bring plenty of water and some trail mix. Be sure to look for the pink trail markers for the loop.

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

This was one of my top 3 favorite hikes ever. Incredibly punishing so be prepared. Alltrails lists this as 4.7 miles but it was actually over 6 miles round trip and took about 5.5 hours. Be prepared to use ropes to climb super sketchy spots, 600 feet up a waterfall and muddy rocks at the summit. This hike is not for the faint of heart or for anyone with a fear of heights.

At the summit, the trail down is easy to miss. We actually kept going up past it since we missed it and ended up in some overgrown trail super close to the crater edge until we turned around after realizing we missed the trail. No ropes on the way down either makes for some pretty sketchy parts, so having friends alongside you definitely helps.

This trail is super challenging but has an amazing payoff at the top. Absolutely worth it.

Bring LOTS of water!

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

High difficulty with high reward. My favorite hike on Oahu so far! I don't usually rely on ropes left on trails, but for this hike you must. Wear hiking boots and spikes if you have them and bring plenty of water.

hiking
19 days ago

Best hiking on the island. Legs killing me, but love this trek. Has the valley hike, waterfall then becomes a ridge hike. Dont underestimate this one...it is tough, but worth it.

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

this was a very challenging, yet very fun hike. I walked right past the entrance the first time. in case there are others just as slow, it is right behind some mailboxes and clearly marked with a sign. I should have known out would be tough when it started off with ropes. the hike included beautiful creeks, waterfalls, ridgelines, steep inclines and declines, and lots of difficult obstacles. All of this was fun to do. what this hike was NOT, was child friendly; our 12 year old barely finished. my wife, who is 6 months pregnant also finished, but the ridgelines with no protection to either side almost ended her. this hike was described as difficult, which I took lightly based on past experiences; this was definitely difficult. it was also described as pet friendly; every person with a pet ended up carrying their dog; I don't see any pet completing this hike on their own. lastly, ensure you come prepared; we were not. more water, more food would have been nice. beautiful scenery, enjoy!

hiking
26 days ago

Intermediate loop hike that requires some rope climbing up the falls. This is not a dog or kid friendly hike!!!!! There are quite a few narrow spots so if you are scared of heights this might not be the hike for you. Hike counter clockwise so you only have to go up the falls and not down them. Gloves and spikes helped tremendously. It was slippery and muddy almost the entire hike and I would have been much slower if it weren't for spikes. Bring plenty of water, snacks and be prepared for a longer hike than you expect. We got rained on and didn't have rain jackets. Even just a poncho would have helped because I was cold after the rain until the sun returned. The views are amazing and it's so worth it if you are prepared for it. We completed this in 6 hours with several stops for photos and a snack break.